Akeed- Tamara Ma’abreh
News reports which claimed that hospitals in the Northern part of the Kingdom were still dispensing a drug that contains the carcinogen Ranitidine are false, according to Jordan Media Monitor, Akeed.
The reports, which were based on complaints by citizens, were carried by several local news websites alleging that the drug was being dispensed along with other drugs without a prescription.
It is worth noting the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that “a substance that could cause cancer has been found in some ranitidine heartburn and ulcer medicines, including the brand-name drug Zantac.” “The source of this contamination is being investigated,” it added.
In response, the Jordanian Food and Drug Administration seized the drug and advised against its sale as a precautionary measure pending further investigation into the locally manufactured drug.
The Ministry of Health also issued a circular to all hospitals and health centers instructing them to suspend prescribing all drugs that contain Rantidine. The drug is prescribed for patients who suffer from heartburn and ulcer.
Directors of public hospitals also confirmed that the drug was no longer being prescribed nor dispensed at health facilities. They also said that the drug cannot be dispensed without a prescription. Currently, an alternative drug that does not contain Rantidine, is being prescribed, they noted.
Akeed notes that media outlets have a responsibility to verify news and the credibility of sources before sharing any content. They should also present objective and balanced stories through seeking out expert opinion instead of merely serving as a medium for carrying information, advises Akeed.